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tv   News  Al Jazeera  August 26, 2013 8:00am-8:31am EDT

8:00 am >> good morning. these are some of the stories we're following at this hour. gunshots force u.n. investigators to return to damascus. their convoy is attacked before they begin their search for chemical weapons. >> this is the number one priority for the national forest service and the park service. >> fire crews in california race to protect a national treasure, and prevent wildfires from spreading. >> he has admitted to the massacre of 13 people at ford hood and now a jury will determine if disgraced military psychiatrist nidal hasan gets the death sentence. >> i don't think a sign would stop a bully.
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i don't think a sign will stop a fight. >> students in chicago heading back to school this morning, just months after dozens of schools are shut down. >> united nations inspectors are back at the site of a chemical attack in a suburb of the capitol city of damascus after their convoy was attacked this morning, the u.n. said snipers shot multiple times at one of their vehicles. that's even before they began their search for chemical weapons. british prime minister david cameron is cutting short his holiday. he'll chair a u.k. government security council meeting on the crisis in syria. the move comes just after defense secretary chuck hagel says the u.s. military is in fact ready to act on president obama's orders. security officials from 10
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countries are meeting in jordan to discuss the best course in action in dealing with the crisis in syria. we go to mike in washington. what can you tell us about the obama administration's reaction to the crisis? >> the rhetoric has toughened in the five days since the chemical attacks in the suburb of damascus, as is a flurry of activity here at the white house and on the telephone. president obama saturday attending a national security council meeting here in the white house that lasted three hours, it was the second one into three days since the five days since the chemical attack. he's been on the phone, has president obama. he's spoken with the u.k. prime minister david cameron, yesterday with the french leader. about 27 calls including to john kerry's russian counter part in the face of strong opposition from the russians to military action, the secretary of state even spoke with his syrian counter part over the weekend.
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the white house with a very tough statement yesterday, senior administration official said regardless whether syria decide to say let the inspectors on site, they say it is too late and there is very little doubt that the regime is responsible for the attacks. >> general wesley clark is a former nato supreme allied commander. earlier, he spoke with aljazeera about what the u.s. strategy in syria should be. he said whatever action the u.s. government takes should include diplomacy. >> prior to this morning's attack on u.n. inspectors, general clark said he was suspicious about their ability to get conclusive evidence during their visit, joining us now is charles blare, a senior fellow at the organization of scientists. the convoy was hit by sniper fire while on their way to see if the syrian government was responsible for chemical weapons
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attacks on its own people. could it actually abterrorist attack? >> it's unknown at this point. there are jihadists active in the area. it's very unsafe and was always a concern for that area, as well as the three original areas that they were heading towards. it could be either the opposition or the regime. >> u.s. intelligence officials found in june that chemical weapons were in fact used in syria, but still no military action. why? hasn't the scowled red line that president obama mentioned last year been crossed? >> it's a great question. the obama adding is playing a long game. it has high takes that it's facing and has very little information in terms of the groups that it can back in terms of the opposition. it needs much for information and assets on the ground before it can credibly move forward. it's a deliberative long process
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that looks at times very grim. they are only to get one chance at this and they have to get it right, so they are taking their time. >> speaking of a grim process, what form would military retaliation actually take? >> well, we could see two different types. the one, the obama administration would prefer is the strategic approach, where over time, they are able to gather a group of opposition forces that they can trust. they can help, they can arm to some degree, maybe some air support. that group can take over the country and hopefully lead syria back to civil peace. the ortho is what we saw quite recently with the attacks last week. in that case, the obama administration now needs to face the fact that it might have to act punitively very, very quickly, so it wants to pursue, i think a long term strategy. i think now it realizes that it doesn't quite understand the
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regime. it doesn't make sense. it needs to be prepared for any contingency. >> thank you very much. stay with aljazeera for the continuing coverage of the definiteliments in syria. as always, we urge you to stay informed with the help of >> roads and camp grounds in yosemite national park are being completely shut down, as the rim wildfire moves in. the wind-driven flames have forced many to evacuate and nearly 134,000-acres are sovereigned and the windy dry conditions mean the fire will likely spread even more. melissa chan has been on the front lines for several days now where crews are working around the clock. >> lovely clouds, but it's actually smoke over the mountains. this is as close to the fire line as we could get. we watched the teams battle the flames both on the ground and with help from above. we're just west of yosemite national park. firefighters have been trying
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toify the flames, but are going to pull back down this road. the fire has jumped the highway. steve, tough terrain and dry conditions transformed this wildfire into one of the biggest in california history. firefighters and meteorologists say its so immense, it possesses its own weather, able to generate wind, rain and lightning, making it unpredictable. >> we are worried about this fire getting larger. wore pouring resources into it, from across california and across the countedry. it is the number one fire priority in the nation and we are hope to go get it out. >> teams from across the country are here, mapping out plans to evacuate residents if necessary. more help arrives by the hour, in part to relieve those who have worked for days. a typical shift lasts 24 hours. >> spent the first probably 30 hours out protecting a subdivision right by the fire. they were air dropping all around us. >> we're out on structural
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protection, trying to prevent the fire from moving from the forest to the residential neighborhoods themselves. >> the fire moves north. firefighters will build containment line ahead of the flames to stop its advance towards homes. more than a week in what is known as the rim fire has left charred evidence in its path, cutting a line, leaving blackened oak and pine and smoky did he saylation. it maybe difficult to imagine when spring rolls around, new plants will sprout, though it will be decades before the trees will stand mighty once again. >> i spoke to kelly houston, the department director of crisis communications for the governor's office emergency services. he discussed the steps being taken to protect the iconic as sequoia trees. >> the trees themselves have been around a thousand years and they could handle the fire, but as a precaution, we've done bull
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dozing around at the federal park service has been putting sprinklers in and trying to do what they can. there's only so much you can do. these fires are massive. i've been there and frankly, it's quite scary in some areas. it's burned over our command centers and created problems for us. >> teams are in place along the eastern edge of the fire and yosemite particularly to minimize impacts on the national treasure. the weather isn't offering help to fire crews out west. let's being in our weather forecast. >> you can see how dry it is across the northwest. as a matter of fact, portion of idaho under a fire weather watch right now in east herb portions of hide hoe where the rim fires located near yosemite national
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park, 124,000 acres in flames, now 134 acres in flames, only 7% contained. we could see gusty winds across the area today in excess of 25 miles per hour help to go fire those blazes and continuing to perpetuate the danger there. tracking the region, eastern portions of idaho are going to get a trickle of rain, but this rain coming with gusty winds. that could perpetuate the fire threat there. we are getting meaningful rain in utah and nevada, down into southern porks of california and arizona. this is very good news for them, although that also comes with the threat of flash flooding. traveling along i-40, use precautions, certainly in las vegas. right now, not seeing a lot of activity, but as the heating of the day reaches its peak, we'll see the most instability in the atmosphere. >> children in chicago heading back to school. it's going to be hot.
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i'll tell you all about it later in the show. >> thanks so much. meanwhile, a jury considers the fate of nidal hasan one week after they convicted him on charges of murder at fort hood. >> a visit to pack tan from afghan president hamad quashesy could renew a peace process between two countries. >> they love their soccer in seattle. fans rolled out the welcome wagon in a big way. highlights ahead in aljazeera america sports.
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mission. >> there's more to america, more stories, more voices, more points of view. now there's are news channel with more of what americans want to know. >> i'm ali velshi and this is "real money." this is "america tonight." sglovrjs our -- >> our news coverage reveal more of america's stories. was not me. check us out 24 hours a day on >> sentencing begins today for dr. nidal hasan, convicted last week for the 2009 shooting spree at ford hood that left 13 dead.
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thirty others were wounded in the deadly effort mass shooting ever on a military insulation. heidi zhou-castro joins us now. what can we expect in today's proceeding? >> well, morgan, today is day one of the prosecution's case for capital punishment. we know at least one family member of each of the 13 people killed by hassan will be taking the stand, plus three more of the wounded will be giving their testimony, bringing the total number of witnesses for the government to just around 20. the bigger question is what, if anything will hassan say when it's his turn. he did ask the judge for a break between the government's case and his own, indicating he is planning something, but morgan, you just never know what will come out of this guys mouth. he already indicated that if he were given the death penalty, he would consider himself a martyr. >> you mentioned the death
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penalty, heidi. what kind of problems would the death penalty really present? >> well, if he is sentenced to death as expected here, it would really present a case that doesn't have any precedence in u.s. history. the last u.s. soldier to be executed was in 1961, and he was hanged by the neck. that just gives you an indication of how much time has passed since the last execution. there are five soldiers currently on death row. one has been there for 25 years, so if hassan continues this pattern of condemning himself and waives his rights, what will the government do then? how would it look if they were bump hassan to get the front of the line to be executed first? a lot of questions they'll have to consider. >> thank you so much heidi
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zhou-castro. >> u.n. chemical weapons in investigators in damascus are now immediating with wound the from the and would poison gas attack earlier this week. the teams were fired at earlier this morning by an unidentified sniper. they had to find a replacement vehicle to finish to continue today's investigation. >> afghan president hamad karzai is in the pakistan capitol today, marking the first high level meeting between the leaders since the swearing in of the new government in pakistan. karzai is looking to restart the peace process. afghanistan believes taliban safe havens in pakistan are the main cause of increased violence in the country. >> rescue crews are working to find any sign of survivors from sunday's deadly train derailment. the train crashed in the southern part of mexico. the train, known as the beast, is meant to transport goods. through the years, it has taken
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hundreds of illegal immigrants into the u.s. the area is so remeet, balances couldn't reach the scene. people scrambled to help those inside until rescue teams arrived by helicopter. >> it's the final day for a court supervised claims administrator to respond to b.p. the company claims it has uncovered new instances of fraud and conflicts of interest. the claims stem from a settlement program that awarded billions of dollars to gulf coast businesses and residences after the oil spill in 2010. according to b.p., two attorneys who serve as appeal panelists for the program have conflicts of interest. another attorney is accused of filing fraudulent claims. settlement payments have been suspended until an investigation is concluded.
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>> an exciting finish in golf, tiger woods stayed in the hunt on sunday, but falls short for another win. john henry smith is here with that story in sports. >> some people have been saying tying is back. that phrase took on a whole new meaning, all week, tiger woods had been dealing with a bad back. wouldn't you know, he tweaked it from what he says was a soft hotel bed. hmm. despite the pain and stiffness, the big cat was still in contention, but on number 13, the back bites back. tiger in obvious pain as the ball sails into the swamp. believe it or not, this is the second straight year he has had back stiffness from a bad mattress. tiger got it going. he had a chance, check out the beautiful approach on number 17. tiger knocks it really, really close. he would birdie that to within a shot of lead. he needed this you putt, not
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going to happen. in fight the back pain, he guts out a second place finish. >> to baseball. the dodgers on the verge sunday of doing something they haven't done in two and a half months, lose a series. the red sox pounding out 12 base hits, including this two-run home run courtesy of saltalamacchia. the red sox brought their gloves, too. check out this play in the fourth, trying to bunt his way on base. pedroia's effort helps jake peavy log a no-hitter. the. >> to new york, behold the greatness that is tigers slugger miguel cabrera. he hit a mack moth home run sunday, giving him 42 on the season to go with his major league best batting average. he went 3-4 on the day. the tigers win 11-3 and sweep
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their weekend set with the mets. >> it was my decision all the way, that he went in, you know, he was 5-6 passing. he looked decent, obviously had the fumble, but then the unfortunate injury. that was my decision for him to go in the game. >> rex ryan is feeling the heat for his decision to play mark sanchez in the fourth quarter of a preseason game. sanchez hurt his shoulder and now his availability for the season opener is in question. the jets quarterback had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with an injured shoulder. he got it hurt when giants defensive tackle marvin austin drilled him. ryan is being questioned for inserting sanchez in the fourth quarter. >> dempsey nearly scored in his debut sunday before 67,000 fans,
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ricketts got in the way. that crowd in seattle, second largest r. in m.l.s. soccer. they went home happy, the only goal off the header. seattle wins 1-0. >> finally, the u.s. pope gets underway in new york. the to>> a soft hotel bed? that's the best he had. >> maybe he can travel around with an r.v. he can afford it. >> students head back into class in the midwest just months after dozens of teacher layoffs and school closures. >> the world's largest bio tech company buys a rival known for manufacturing live and kidney cancer drugs. >> the countries highest military honor awarded to a man for saving the lives of his
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fellow soldiers while fighting the taliban.
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>> these are some of the stories we're following at this hour. u.n. chemical weapons inspectors
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in damascus are now meeting with those wounded from the alleged poison gas attack earlier this week. the teams were fired at early this morning by an unidentified sniper. they had to find a replacement vehicle to finish today's investigation. >> california forestry officials say the wildfire raging north of yosemite national park is 7% contained. strong winds are helping to push the flames into the park. >> major nidal hasan will enter the penalty phase of his trial today. a military jury convicted him of 45 charges, including premeditated murder for the 2009 shooting spree of fort hood texas. >> more than 400,000 children in chicago make their way back to school today. 12,000 of them will be attending new schools following the largest mass school closing in u.s. history. a lot of those schools will be in unfamiliar neighborhoods. this has raised concerns with
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parents. their children will now be forced to walk longer distances through violent areas. city leaders have vowed to keep the children safe with new programs. ash home run, can you walk us through the safe program. >> currently, there are 53 new routes that have been established by the district, those in addition to the 39 that had been in place before that. about 600 people have been hired by safe passage to be posted along those routes during school hours, about five hours a day when the bells are ringing to help students get to and from their newly designated schools. we've already seen the presence of some of those people in bright fluorescent vests lined
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up at the safe passage route where we're standing. weaver also seen a police presence by patrol and on foot, but very much safety on the minds of parents, teachers and students this morning as they head back for the first day of classes here in chicago. >> how many students are there and how many routes are available? >> there are 53 routes, and there are about 12,000, a little less than that, actually, because there are students who haven't reenrolled yet. some parents have decided to keep their children home, because they're not comfortable with the schools their children are going to based on the routing or whatever it may be. that's one thing they're dealing with at this point. those safe passage routes are routes that go straight to the schools and have buffer zones around them. parents have concerns about what mixing may happen outside of those buffer zones as some of these children come together on these routes heading to their
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schools. >> what exactly has parents worried? can you explain what's behind that concern no. >> the route that we're on right now runs straight past us and along two schools. parents are concerned that these boundaries, they are invisible boundaries, but beyond the safe routes to the east or west, there may be gang lines to are crossed, students are going to have to cross those gang lines before they get nafated to their schools. >> the world's largest bio tech company has made a deal to buy onyx pharmaceuticals. onyx produces a cancer drug. $4 billion will be paid for the company. the deal still requires approval by federal regulators. >> you may have noticed it already. some relief has shown up for
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americans at the gas pumps. prices are fallen, down 20 cents from this time last year. analysts say it is thanks to a steady supply. >> crowds will begin to gather from around the world today in nevada for burning man. the annual art festival convenes each year. organizers describe it as an on going social experiment. 60,000 participants expected this year. this year, it will include a lifetime flying sauce as her and laser show based on patterns from the human gomo. >> president obama awards the countries highest military honor today. it is awarded for personal accounts of valor above and beyond the call of adult.
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carter is credited with saving the lives are federal soldiers. his actions happened during a taliban attack on a combat outpost in afghanistan in 2009. he will be the fifth living soldier from the wars in iraq and afghanistan to receive the award. >> united nations weapons inspectors driving in their convoy were hit repeatedly with gunfire while on their way to the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack outside damascus. the unidentified finer fire forced the team to return, but they are now continuing their investigation. >> that will do it. news at the top of every single hour and for headlines anytime, log on to and join the conversation. thanks so much for watching.
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